Olive Tapenade Recipes

Olive tapenade recipes can be used as a spread for fish, pizza, or whatever feels right.  You can make a green olive tapenade, a black olive tapenade, or use both types of olives.

A green olive tapenade is made from green olives which are young olives.  However, a black olive tapenade is the more traditional way to make a tapenade recipe.  And using the various types of black olives will change the taste of this wonderful spread.

BTW, raw olives are not palatable and must go through a process before they can be consumed.

Green Olive Tapenade

Green olives are basically unripened olives which makes them more dense than ripe olives.

Green olives are also more bitter than the ripe ones. Ripe olives can be brown, purple, or black in color.

Ideas for Your Olive Tapenade Recipes

  • Picholine Olives
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Liguria Olives
  • Gaeta Olives
  • Nicoise Olives
  • Beldi Olives
  • Lugano Olives
  • Alfonso Olives
  • Lemon Juice
  • Greek or Italian Olive Oil
  • Anchovies or Anchovy Paste
  • Nuts or Seeds
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Raw Garlic or Roasted Garlic
  • Dried Figs
  • Capers
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Spices

  • Raisins
  • Hot Peppers
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mission Olives
  • Cerignola Olives

Olive Tapenade Recipes


  • Kalamata Olives
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Minced Garlic
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

This is a basic olive tapenade recipe that you can build on to develop many tapenade recipes.


  1. Put ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Black Olive Tapenade


  • 1/2 cup of Gaeta Olives (remove pits)
  • 1/2 cup of Kalamata Olives (remove pits)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Capers
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Leaves from a Sprig of Fresh Parsley


  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
  2. Blend or pulse until a coarse paste is reached.
  3. Can be served with fish, crackers, meats, cheese, or pasta.

Green & Kalamata Olive Tapenade


  • 3 Cups of Green & Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 Small Hot Pepper
  • Lemon Zest
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Thyme
  • Black Pepper to Taste

Try different types of olives along with a variety of other ingredients to make very interesting tapenade recipes.

Raw olives are very bitter and contain substances that need to be removed before an olive is fit for human consumption.

Olives must go through a curing process which will usually involve a Lye Cure (yikes!), a Dry Cure, a Brine Cure, or a Sun/Air Cure.

Raw Olives

Example of Air Cured Olives

  • Use fresh ripe olives.
  • Store ripe olives in a dry and ventilated environment for 1 to 2 months.
  • Then store in an airtight jar or container.

You can also buy raw olives and brine cure them yourself. Curing olives in a brine can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months - it will also involve a lot of salt.

Because green olives are more bitter than ripe olives, they are more prone to a lye treatment to get rid of their bitterness.  Important! Lye treated olives usually have their pits removed and are less flavorful.

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